Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rule #18: Better Late than Never! (Harvest "Monday")

So this week we are still getting decent strawberries.  Less than before but the overbearing are putting on new flowers.  The new harvest this week was the Tatsoi and Peas. I have decided that shelling peas are good but not enough of a harvest for the space they take up.  I would now prefer snow or snap peas, but I am going to use up all the seeds I have first.  Larkyn and now Mckinley both love peas so that is why I originally started growing them.  I decided to pick them young so that we could eat them like a snow pea. This worked out for most of them, but a couple of them were a touch to big and tough.  I will let the rest mature to peas and we will make a nice risotto out of it.  The first Tatsoi was good. I have had to be diligent about getting eggs and caterpillars off of them though!  We had some steamed on a salad with other steamed veggies and them I made a stir fry with them also.  Both ways were tasty.  I look forward to  a good fall crop and perhaps trying different asian greens in the future.  I have a few more in the garden still to harvest in the coming week or two.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Rule #17: When you can't harvest much, sprout! (Harvest Monday)

So... I was so jealous seeing a neighbor's garden the other day.  She had almost ready zucchini, tons of decent size lettuces and spinach, radishes, and beets.  She planted weeks earlier than me and it proved to be successful.  Her tomatoes already have flowers and baby tomatoes!  Luckily I got some of the radishes!  My garden is really doing pretty good and my transplants better than I though after they were damaged by aphids early in the season while "hardening off." The tomatoes are really taking off and peppers are doing well. The eggplants were devastated by the flea beetle so I will have to buy some.  Luckily, I gave some to my neighbors and theirs are doing well so I will be able to see how the Diamond Eggplant ( Seed Savers Exchange) does.  On to this weeks harvest for Daphne's Dandelions Harvest Monday.  So we are still getting some strawberries, but they seem so be much smaller than when the season started.  Also I got more overwintered swiss chard that I mixed with garlic and oil, some baby beet greens from thinning, celery  and romaine lettuce leaves, some left over spinach mom brought over, basil, and some of my fennel fronds.  Added a splash of lemon at the end.  So yummy....thank you Jaime Oliver. Second time using his recipe in the Jaime's Italy book.  This time I used basil instead of parsley.  Both times were so good.  I always did sauté the swiss chard with garlic and oil, but didn't think adding so many flavors would be good.  I am so glad I tried it.  I especially like the celery leaves added.  Too bad my celery seedlings didn't make it.  I have the hardest time with them and parsley from seed. Any suggestions???? So I went ahead a sprouted my french garden mix and micro greens.  After seeing Mark from Marks Veg Plot sprout peas on wet paper towels a few couple weeks ago, I decided to give it a try with a micro greens packet my mom gave me last year for mother's day!  It worked out, but I haven't seen any more growth from them in a few days so I will use them today.  Thanks Mark!

The micro greens

French Garden Sprouts (still in Sprouter form) and lett over of last nights Swiss Chard Saute

Close up of Swiss Chard Saute 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rule #16: Net those strawberries and get the last laugh! (Harvest Monday)

Yes squirrels....I will be eating these tasty red strawberries and you will not be getting your grubby paws on them.  Well they get a few, but our black netting is certainly giving us plenty to eat.  We also stuck a pinwheel by the patch.  I don't know if this is deterring the squirrels, but we like to watch it!  This year John also got around to netting the peach tree.  Last year he was too late and by this time the squirrels ate about 50 or so on our tree in one day!  So far so good on that front too.  I'm not sure when they will be ready. Last year would have been our first harvest so this is a new one for us.  In other harvest related news (you can see Harvests around the world at Daphne's Dandelions in my links), I don't have many overwintered lettuce, but it keeps coming back.  Had some with some of our new baby arugula and spinach from the garden as well for mother's day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rule #15: One is Fun....(and Harvest Monday)!

What a busy weekend.  Mckinley is officially one!  We celebrated her birthday and went to another party this weekend.  During Mckinley's birthday party Larkyn and my friends little girl wanted to go out and check the strawberry patch.  There we found about 8 ready strawberries!  Our first harvest.  We have also eaten swiss chard and lettuce from the garden this week.  All the rest of the seeds and transplants are doing pretty well.  After picking off a lot of foliage and squishing some bugs on the tomato, pepper and eggplant transplants they are doing a lot better.  Over night I noticed that something must have figured out that where they could get a good aphid meal.  Yay!  I am really excited about my new beds and especially getting some borlotti beans this year.  Finally took a few pics of the new beds.  

Strawberry Patch


One of the borlotti bean beds just outside of the main garden.

Still working on the yard, but here are the beds in the side retaining wall.

tomatoes, rasberries, grapevines from free cycle and the more raspberries

Larkyn's rock creation

Here are the tomatoes.  The little bed there used to be in the garden.  Pumpkin's new home soon.

Another view

Lef side of the garden. The borlotti bed got a little fence yesterday to protect them from bunnies!

Right side of the garden. Soaker hoses got in place yesterday too. Have just a tad more Leaf Grow !

Birthday girl with some Poplar flowers

Big sis and her "Kentucky Derby Hat" (Mckinely's birthday ribbon!)